Two members of the team that won both the 1956 and 1957 German championships are still alive today: Helmut Kapitulski, born in 1934, and Wilhelm "Willi" Burgsmüller, born in 1932. Those that call Burgsmüller a "living legend" would be spot on too: there are only five Borussia players that have won the German championship three times, and Burgsmüller was also captain of the '63 team. Today, on 18 January, he celebrates his 90th birthday!
In 1950, the fast and uncompromising full-back moved from Westfalia Huckarde to Borsigplatz. He had to wait his turn on the bench for a while first before being ready for the first team, but then you couldn't have imagined the right side of the defence without him in a footballing community that was formidable at the time. And yes, it was a community of around eleven friends. They did a lot together, with their brides and then later wives, and thus grew together, forming the sworn eleven.
"Willi" also progressed through the generational change from Michallek, Preißler, Sandmann & Co to Konietzka, Schütz, Kurrat, and all the others without any problems. He didn't just play in the aforementioned '63 final, but also in the '61 final (0-3 against Nürnberg), the '63 Cup final (0-3 against Hamburg), and the legendary European Cup games against Dukla Prag (4-0) and Benfica Lissabon (5-0). "You don't forget something like that." After his career, the trained carpenter worked as a magazine administrator at Stadtwerke Dortmund, as well as for the traditional team and as a youth coach for his beloved club on the side. He is still a member of the Council of Elders today.
But fame has never gone to his head. He lives in Dortmund-Wickede with his wife Brunhilde, to whom he has been married since 1954, and he looks forward to the present team's home games, because Willi and all the old warhorses, for as long as they live, are always welcome guests at Signal Iduna Park with their "better halves". And that will remain the case for a long time. In this sense, dear Willi, best wishes!